Had Jordan Clark not pursued a career in hospitality management, he likely would have become a teacher. Clark, vice president of sales for Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment, is always looking for ways to educate the next generation of hospitality industry professionals.
A former Mentor of the Year supporting students at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, Clark also serves as a member of the international advisory board for the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Service Management, his alma-matter.
In his current role with Caesars, Clark oversees groups sales for 38 Caesars hotels across the country including locations in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Las Vegas; Lake Tahoe, California; New Orleans; and Tunica, Mississippi.
Earlier this month, Clark and his team hosted a two-day education conference at Lake Tahoe properties, Harrah’s and Harveys, for nearly 100 planners from across the country. The conference featured national speakers who shared inspiration and information pertinent to industry professionals while showcasing Caesars’ meeting capabilities and resources in action.
Connect sat down with Clark to get his perspective on Lake Tahoe as a destination, how Caesars sets its meeting business apart and why gaming destinations have appeal for a broad cross section of groups.
How do you characterize the meetings market for Tahoe?
Lake Tahoe was an incredible incentive destination back in the day [Rat Pack era of the early ’60s], and those days are returning. It’s a new famous place to be, right? Skiing as well as summer tourism here are having a resurgence, and things are coming back.
We’re seeing a sizable number of incentive trips around 20-40 people, especially from surrounding tech and startup companies in Reno and the nearby San Francisco Bay area. The association business is also a good market for us in Tahoe, which seems to run in the 150- to 400-person range.
How does Caesars fit into that?
We do a good job at meetings here because we have the two properties. Keeping up with the product is paramount. We’ve put nearly $11 million into Harrah’s recently to keep the product fresh: Our Special Events Center received a $4 million renovation, and we’ve spent more than $6 million dollars [renovating] guest rooms here. We also have plans to continue renovations next year [at Harveys].